This is the smallest otter species being only about 11 lbs. Early documentation of skins and live animals suggest that they once grew up to 7.9 feet in length (2.4 m), but such large specimens ceased to exist when the giant otter population began to decline. [16] Carter and Rosas found average areas a third this size. They live in still or slow moving fresh water rivers, lakes and creeks. Otters are real carnivores. The neotropical otter is active during twilight and darkness, reducing the likelihood of conflict with the diurnal giant otter. The giant otter's highly sensitive whiskers (vibrissae) allow the animal to track changes in water pressure and currents, which aids in detecting prey. Giant Otter – This species is found throughout the Amazon River basin in South America. Giant otters live in the tropical Amazonian region of South America, where the weather is invariably hot and humid, with frequent rain showers. This makes it easier for the adults to catch enough fish for the growing young, and for the pups to learn how to catch fish. Although generally peaceful, the species is territorial, and aggressi… The main difference between the giant otter and the other relatives is its flattened tail. The behavior of the otter. Neotropical otter – As the name suggests this is one of the species that lives in warm environments. Even when told of the importance of the species to ecosystems and the danger of extinction, interviewees showed little interest in continuing to coexist with the species. Its thick, velvety brown fur has characteristic white markings around the neck. READ MORE: Furry and Up to No Good: Do Ferrets Make Good Pets? As predators that are near the top of the food chain, otters are hugely important for keeping their environments balanced. Countries where giant otters live include Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. Habitat Giant Otters are only found in the rainforests and rivers of South America. The Giant River Otter is a sociable creature who lives in families of 3-10 members, banding together to protect themselves and their territories. [24] The nose (or rhinarium) is completely covered in fur, with only the two slit-like nostrils visible. [42][43] Within groups, the animals are extremely peaceful and cooperative. Giant Otters typically live in and along the Amazon River. They reach sexual maturity at 2 years of age. The giant otter is the longest of the otter species but shares a similar weight with the sea otter. In the wild, they normally live about 8 to 9 years, but are capable of living up to 13 years of age. In terms of otters, the giant one has the shortest coat and its … Once they locate their prey, the giant river otters proceed to capture and consume them. [85], Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, "Searching for the Giant Otter in Northeastern Argentina", "Otters: An Action Plan for their Conservation", "Cytogenetic study of the giant otter Pteronura brasiliensis Zimmermann 1780 (Carnivora, Mustelidae, Lutrinae)", "Otters: A SeaWorld Education Department Publication", "The Vocal Repertoire of Adult and Neonate Giant Otters (, "Territorial choruses of giant otter groups (Pteronura brasiliensis) encode information on group identity", "Distribution and Population Status of the Giant Otter Pteronura brasiliensis in Bolivia", "Intraspecific Agonism between Giant Otter Groups", "Change Of Partners In A Giant Otter Alpha Couple", "An analysis and review of the sociobiology of the Mustelidae", Guianas Rapid River Bio-assessments and Giant Otter Conservation Project, "Dry and Rainy Season Estimations of Giant Otter, Pteronura brasiliensis, Home-Range in the Yasuní National Park, Ecuador", "How a social lifestyle helped drive a river otter species to near extinction", "Differential resilience of Amazonian otters along the Rio Negro in the aftermath of the 20th century international fur trade", "Mercury levels in tissues of Giant otters (, "Giant Otter Project In Peru: Field Trip And Activity Report, 1998", "A Survey of Kaburi Creek, West Suriname, and its Conservation Implications", "WWF welcomes Latin America's largest freshwater protected area", "Estudio preliminar sobre el estado de conservación de la nutria gigante (Pteronura brasiliensis) en la zona de influencia de Inírida (Bajo río Inírida) Guainía, Colombia", "PER-I38: El mundo del agua temido y poco conocido", "Biology and conservation of Giant Otter (,, Articles with Spanish-language sources (es), Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Articles containing Portuguese-language text, Articles containing Spanish-language text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 6 January 2021, at 20:31. Weights are between 26 and 32 kg (57 and 71 lb) for males and 22 and 26 kg (49 and 57 lb) for females. Prey species found were also sedentary, generally swimming only short distances, which may aid the giant otter in predation. [64], Even if without direct predation, the giant otter must still compete with other predators for food resources. These can become quite extensive, including "backdoor" exits into forests and swamps, away from the water. The World Conservation Union (IUCN) considers the species' presence in Argentina and Uruguay uncertain. Let us know on the Wide Open Pets Facebook page! The length of her body without a tail reaches 150 cm, the tail in length is 70 … Giant Otters have excellent eyesight, a flat wide- based tail and they are well suited to an aquatic life. It can come to weigh between 66 and 88 pounds and come to measure some 6 feet long. They live in family groups that consist of 4 - 10 members and they have a home range of around 12 x 12 kms The sea otter, however, rarely comes ashore, according to the San Diego Zoo. Giant Otters are only found in the rainforests and rivers of South America. Sea otters live in the Pacific Ocean while giant otters live in the tropical rain forests of South America. Giant Otters might look like any other species of Otter. Whistles may be used as advance warning of nonhostile intent between groups, although evidence is limited. The species was so thoroughly decimated, the number dropped to just 12 in 1971. Logging, hunting, and pup seizure may have led groups to be far more wary of human activity. It is regulated internationally under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES): all trade in specimens and parts is illegal. )[71] The animal sometimes drowns in nets set across rivers and machete attacks by fishermen have been noted, according to Duplaix, but "tolerance is the rule" in Suriname. Giant otters live in lakes and slow-moving rivers in forested areas. [32] Duplaix identified nine distinct sounds, with further subdivisions possible, depending on context. Do giant otters live in a group? Male otters disperse from such family groups more often than females. Fish make up most of the giant otter's diet. These animals are known to go head-to-head with some of the world's most powerful animals, - such as Jaguars, crocodiles and anacondas. [66] Its smaller prey, different denning habits, and different preferred water types also reduce interaction.[57]. Other places you will find them lingering include around rivers, streams, and lakes. [2] Typically, loggers first move into rainforest, clearing the vegetation along riverbanks. They dwell in flooded forests, slow moving rivers, streams, lakes and swamps. Within these seas, they are usually found in the vicinity of the shore (which is typically rocky). [56] Carter and Rosas have found captive adult animals consume around 10% of their body weight daily—about 3 kilograms (7 lb), in keeping with findings in the wild. Males are between 1.5 and 1.7 m (4.9 and 5.6 ft) in length from head to tail and females between 1 and 1.5 m (3.3 and 4.9 ft). Where do sea otters live? Distribution of … [11], The otters form the subfamily Lutrinae within the mustelids and the giant otter is the only member of the genus Pteronura. It is mostly solitary, and only rarely do … [57] In addition, solitary animals and young may be vulnerable to attacks by the jaguar, cougar, and anaconda, but this is based on historical reports, not direct observation. All group members may aggressively charge intruders, including boats with humans in them. There are 13 species in total, ranging from the small-clawed otter to the giant otter. Giant otters live in South America, throughout the Orinoco, Amazon and La Plata River systems (mostly in the northern half of South America). Even in a large group, they rarely have a fight with each other. These otters do have sharp teeth and if you're keeping otters you should be aware these wild animals can become aggressive if stressed. Group sizes are anywhere from two to 20 members, but likely average between four and eight. [12], Adult giant otters living in family groups have no known serious natural predators, however there are some accounts of black caimans in Peru and yacare caimans in the Pantanal preying on giant otters. These mammals are very agile and feed on small crabs, frogs, and worms. The giant otter is native only to the Amazon, Orinoco, and La Plata river systems in South America. It is the noisiest otter species, and distinct vocalizations have been documented that indicate alarm, aggression, and reassurance. To notify the family of their presence, otters sharply scream and emerge from the water. Prey chase is rapid and tumultuous, with lunges and twists through the shallows and few missed targets. Farmers follow, creating depleted soil and disrupted habitats. Search. [4] They are weaned by nine months and begin hunting successfully soon after. The groups are centered on a dominant breeding pair and are extremely cohesive and cooperative. Utreras[60] presumed habitat requirements and availability would differ dramatically in the rainy season: estimating range sizes of 1.98 to as much as 19.55 square kilometres (0.76 to 7.55 sq miles) for the groups. [13] P. b. paraguensis is supposedly smaller and more gregarious, with different dentition and skull morphology. [39] One tentative theory for the development of sociality in mustelids is that locally abundant, but unpredictably dispersed, and prey causes groups to form. A fully-grown adult male typically weighs between 57 and 71 pounds (26 and 32 kg). Size. [55], The species can hunt singly, in pairs, and in groups, relying on sharp eyesight to locate prey. [26] Unique markings of white or cream fur color the throat and under the chin, allow individuals to be identified from birth. Excellent and lithe swimmers, the young are in the water by 10 weeks of age. [46][47] Research over five years on a breeding pair at the Cali Zoo in Colombia found the average interval between litters was six to seven months, but as short as 77 days when the previous litter did not survive. The smaller neotropical otter is far more shy, less noisy, and less social; at about a third the weight of the giant otter, it is more vulnerable to predation, hence, a lack of conspicuousness is to its advantage. One report suggests maximum areas 28 m (92 ft) long and 15 m (49 ft) wide, well-marked by scent glands, urine, and feces to signal territory. This South American otter is the world's largest, at some 6 feet long. Sea otters can live around 10-15 years, whereas Eurasian otters are lucky to reach 4-years-old in the wild. Between them, they communicate with different sounds. The IUCN listed the giant otter as "endangered" in 1999; it had been considered "vulnerable" under all previous listings from 1982 when sufficient data had first become available. The giant otter is the longest of the otters, sometimes reaching 7 feet from nose to tail, and weighing up to 85 pounds, but sea otters are much stouter and large male sea otters in particular are bulkier and heavier than giant otters. While revealing of the affection held for the animals, the seizure was a profound blow to the breeding pair, which went on to lose their territory to competitors. [46] Pups open their eyes in their fourth week, begin walking in their fifth, and are able to swim confidently between 12 and 14 weeks old. These family-loving animals spend most of their time together. In fact, he’ll usually live in a group with ten or more of his fellow otters. The Giant Otters are gregarious and live in groups of 3-10 individuals known as holts. Giant River Otters are apex predators, partially due to these impenetrable family groups, and use 22 different vocalisations to communicate to one another. 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